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Journalist Atia Abawi’s latest novel explores the tense lives of Syrian refugees.

January 18, 2018 19:52
4 minute read.
DISPLACED SYRIANS walk in a refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Suruc in January 2015

DISPLACED SYRIANS walk in a refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Suruc in January 2015. (photo credit: OSMAN ORSAL/REUTERS)


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A Land of Permanent Goodbyes is the story of Tareq, a Syrian teen whose life is altered forever when his city is bombed, killing his mother, grandmother and three siblings. Together with his father, Fayed, and little sister, Susan, Tareq becomes one of the thousands of Syrian refugees making their way toward the border with Turkey to escape death and destruction.

There is no time for Tareq to mourn his family. He and his father and sister have no choice but to flee. Every step of the way, decisions must be made as to how to move forward, as nothing is ever as it seems and danger lurks everywhere. Before leaving Syria, they drive to another part of the country to get the money they need from Tareq’s uncle, who lives in a region that has been taken over by Islamic State. Just getting there is another harrowing experience that they are lucky to survive. When they leave his aunt and uncle’s house, Tareq’s cousin Musa joins them.


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